Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest is just starting – 9 days of music in cafes, small clubs, big concert halls, free outdoor stages, recording studios, the public library, and classrooms…lunchtime concerts, afternoons and evenings of music, and late nights that spill into early mornings. There really seems to be something for every taste and approach.

Everyone will have their own list of what you should check out – and then those lists will change as everyone experience the music and discovers their new favorite sound.  You can catch up with my colleague Julia Figueras each day during Morning Edition on WXXI News (at approximately 8:43am) and then catch the Jazz Corner on WRUR at 10:30 each morning on Open Tunings with Scott Regan and Jeff Spevak.  

Accidentally hearing music can melt your heart and ignite your curiosity.  That’s a real possibility on June 21, a day of worldwide celebration of music on which all kinds of musicians – young and old, amateur and professional -- will stream into parks and streets and bridges to make music for the sheer pleasure of it.  Keep your ears peeled.

This is not a metaphor for your soul being transported to another realm – I’ve got physical transportation on my mind.

Now that it is spring, I’m back into biking to work pretty much every day. I’m happy to be out and riding again, even though I did appreciate the chance to read on the bus on my commute this winter. The seasonal change in my travel habits – along with thinking about how we get around as I prepare to host an event for Reconnect Rochester about transportation and sustainability – reminded me of some of my favorite music for bikes – and trains – and even cars. 

Sarah and the Moose

Jun 12, 2017

What's your voice type? Alto? Soprano? Bass? Tenor?  Not sure?  Here's a primer to help you find your spot in the choir. (Click the post title if you don't see it, and enjoy.)

The daily 6:40 a.m. Mystery Piece (June 12 - 16) will test how well you can identify singers' voices.

Thanks to the Classical 91.5 listener to who sent in this comic relief! ~ Brenda

In 2017, the race to the Tony is much less clear-cut than last year. In 2016, it was easy to predict which show would run away with just about every statue as Hamilton received 13 nominations and took home an impressive 11 awards, including Best Musical. This year, the awards may not be as one-sided, as there are several different shows in the running for the various big categories. Here is a quick look at what I think are the most heated races and which shows just may take home the coveted statue.

When Classical 91.5 listener Bruce Leslie attended a university graduation ceremony in London, he expected to hear Edward Elgar’s first “Pomp and Circumstance” march.   But he didn’t.  When he asked people about its omission, they looked at him incredulously and said that music had no connection with graduation in the U.K.

“Mompou is evoking in music the silence…and the silence is music.”  

When guitarist Rafaella Smits visited Rochester, she played and spoke about music by Catalan - French - Spanish composer Federico Mompou (1893-1987).

I think it’s fair to say Mompou is one of the composers with a “cult” following – he’s not mainstream famous, even among those who routinely listen to classical music, yet his music is beloved and revered by those who are in the know.  

Stephanie Marsh

It's been a great season of Live from Hochstein - with everything from Brahms to brass, world premieres, wind quintet favorites, and Radiohead played by the Eastman Cello Ensemble (along with music by David Liptak, Caleb Burhans, and Arvo Pärt. You can hear this season finale show here: 


Garden Delights

May 9, 2017
Brenda Tremblay

After the snow melts and the mud subsides, Rochester’s public gardens will take your breath away!  Here are some of my favorite gardens and music for your strolling pleasure.

Steinway

“I know a professor who painted a piano…”

“WHAT? That damages the sound! How could he? Was it an old junker?”

“Actually, it was a Steinway…”

 - Conversation backstage before an orchestra concert last week

You can cause some damage if you just start slapping paint on a piano in any old way. The frame of the piano affects the sound and resonance of the entire instrument.

It’s another thing if you are a trained artist, commissioned by Steinway to create one of their limited edition or special pianos.  There are some absolute beauties that have been created over the years, and one recent one - called "Pictures at an Exhibition" is particularly stunning. 

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